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Heaters For Car Camping: 5 Different Options

Car camping is fun, exciting, and a relatively inexpensive way of going on vacation. However, most people who go car camping don’t actually sleep in the car. Instead, they take a tent. Alternatively, you could sleep in your car, but how would you keep warm? What are the best heaters for car camping?

If you want to use the heater in your car, it is best to use the built-in heater. Alternatively, you could use a 12V heater that plugs into your cigarette lighter socket. If you own a tent and don’t have electricity, a propane heater is advised as they are indoor safe. Never sleep with the heater on.

We have researched and compiled a thorough list of the best heaters you can use while car camping. Some of the heaters will be best used in a tent. However, we have some that can be plugged into your car. Finally, we will have a few tips and tricks and do use and don’t’s, so we recommend you keep reading.

5 Of The Best Heaters For Car Camping

While going through this list, it would be a good idea to consider your needs and decide based on that. If you are still struggling to determine what is best for you, we will discuss the pros and cons of electrical and combustion heaters further down in the article. With that said, here are five of the best heaters for car camping.

Filba 12V Car Heater

The Filba 12V car heater was initially designed to be a quick and effective way to warm up your car and defrost/demist the windows within 60 seconds of starting the vehicle. While it can be used for that, there is more this little heater can do.

This excellent little heater plugs right into your vehicle’s cigarette socket and can be used while driving. The heater is also used to heat the car before you go to sleep.

The Filba car heater features automatic power-off protection and anti-voltage safety. It also has an intelligent energy-saving design. In addition, you can easily adjust the heater to sit anywhere on your dashboard. It can then be rotated to point in whichever direction you choose.

Mr. Heater F242010

Mr heater is one of the most popular brands in this category, so for that reason, it’s on this list more than once. Let’s take a look at a few of the features of the golf cart heater before discussing it further.

  • The heater uses a 1-pound propane tank lasting between five and six hours. The tank is sold separately.
  • While it is designed for a golf cart, using it in a car is easy as it includes a cupholder adaptor.
  • With its protective screen, the heater is wind and rain-resistant, which is a nice touch if you want to take it outside.

The heater is fully portable and has an ergonomic handle. It requires no electricity and can therefore be carried around with you.

HAIGEZS 12V Car Heater

One of our favorite products on this list, the Haigezs 12V car heater, delivers. The base of the heater can be rotated 360 degrees. There is so much that this little heat can do. Let’s take a look at just a few of its functions:

  • The heater is great for keeping you warm in the car while driving.
  • You can also use it while camping.
  • Demist your windows almost instantly.
  • It can be used as a fan instead of a heater.

We also like the design of the heater. It packs 150 watts of heat while being small and compact.

DDRADON Portable car Heater 12 Volt

We have another 12V heater that plugs into your car’s cigarette socket. The DDRADON produces 150 W of heat and can warm your car within one minute. The heater is perfect for those cold nights while car camping, but it can also demist windows in the cold mornings.

The heater has an intelligent design, and once it is on your dashboard, you can rotate it to point either at your windows, toward you, or at your passenger. Oh, and the heater can also be used as a mini air-conditioner so you can keep warm at night and cool during the day.

Myuoot Portable Car Heater

Most 12 Volt car heaters look very similar and go on the dashboard. However, the Myuoot breaks away from the traditional design. Instead, it resembles a security camera. Thanks to its design, the heater can be placed on your dashboard or stuck to your windows. Additionally, you can rotate the heater to face any angle with the swivel bracket.

Like most 12 Volt car heaters, the Myuoot has two functions. It can be used as a heater to keep you and the car warm or as a fan to keep you cool.

Combustion Vs. Electric Heaters For Car Camping: Pros And Cons

This section is not to say one is better than the other because both serve a purpose based on your needs. Instead, this section should get used to assess your needs and figure out what is best for you.

So, here are the pros and cons of using a combustion heater for car camping:

Combustion Heater For Car Camping: Pros And Cons
Great for indoor tent usage🗴 Propane needs to be maintained
Non-toxic🗴 Most are too big to be used in the car.
Easy to setup and use
Propane is cost-effective

And now, let us look at electric heaters, specifically 12V car heaters.

Electric Heater For Car Camping: Pros And Cons
Great for use while driving.🗴 They drain your battery
Easy to use🗴 You need a power source
12V heaters plug into the car
Can also be used in a tent

Is It Safe To Use A Car Heater While Driving?

Overall, using a 12V electric heater while driving is relatively safe. However, we always advise you to use your car’s built-in heater. If it is not working, you don’t have one, or perhaps you would prefer something more substantial, then you can use a 12V car heater. Maybe you will use one of the heaters we listed above.

If you are using a third-party heater, it would be best if you made sure to check on it now and then while not letting yourself get distracted from the road.

Always unplug the heater when you switch the car off and park it somewhere. Even if you know that it is switched off, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

While driving with the heater on, you should also monitor yourself. For example, if you start to feel nauseous, you could expose yourself to too much heat and need to turn it down or switch it off.

Heaters For Car Camping: Things To Note

We tried to include different options to cover as many scenarios as possible in the list above. However, whether you were sleeping in your car or pitching a tent just outside, here are a few things that you should consider when using a heater, whether it is gas or electric:

  • For indoor usage, electric heaters are the least toxic. However, propane heaters have also proven to be relatively safe.
  • For electric heaters, you would need to run them via an electrical source or your car battery. However, the last thing you want is to be stuck at your camping spot with a dead battery, so please be mindful of that
  • It would be best if you never left the heater on when you are going to sleep. This is extremely dangerous.
  • The heater is there to warm up your car or tent before sleeping. Once you switch the heater off, you should have a sleeper blanket to keep you warm through the night.
  • While ensuring that you will have enough air circulation in the car or tent once the heater is off, you can take a few precautions to stop the heat from being lost. To do this, you want to keep your windows and door closed. The same applies to a tent. The entrance of the tent must be zipped up.


Hopefully, we covered everything you need to know while providing you with a list of the best heaters for car camping. Remember, safety first, and you should be good to go.